Tasmania: Northern Central - Day 6

Friday, Dec 31, 2004 at 11:08

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

After lifting camp this morning we continued along to the Big Tree and Dip Falls using Rabalga Rd and crossing the Black River. This is a brilliant area to be driving in a 4WD and we greatly enjoyed the route we took so this will be written into a trek note as its full of things to see and do as well as the driving.

Having not seen another vehicle in this area since leaving the Bass Highway we were quite surprised to come across a truck in the middle of the track with a helicopter on its trayback (its arms being filled with a crop spray from tanks on board the truck).

We then cut across to Smithtown (which we found better for supplies than Burnie) and onto Marrawah on the West Coast. We had expected better camping conditions and access to the aboriginal art site to the north but when things did not look too promising so we continued onto Arthur River.

At this point, we stopped by the river beneath the bridge and were approached by a person getting out of a black Landcruiser. He quickly identified himself as an ExplorOz Member but he had only driven across from Devonport for a day trip and was heading back.

Our dilemma now was to find a quiet place to camp but in doing so not find ourselves driving too far down the coast and never backtracking for a better look. However, we did agree that Arthur River was too full of people and wasn't worth stopping. We spent ages in the rangers office looking at maps and asking questions but this still didn't resolve our dilemna. We toured through the 3 main camps close to the town, as well as pulling off to investigate every side track and beach access all the way down to Sundowner Point and only found poor camps. Eventually we doubled back most of the way to Arthur River and settled for a camp under large trees with fresh water on tap, pit toilet, fireplace etc.

It is worth noting that the Off Road Permit required for driving anywhere off a bitumen road in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Reserve, which stretches all the way to Corrinna is free and is nothing more than a bit of blue paper noting your drivers licence number and name. Camping permits are needed ($4 per adult/night) for anywhere in the Conservation Reserve.

Dinner tonight was marinated chicken thighs cooked in the Cobb Cooker with corn cobbs and potatoes wrapped in foil and placed in the moat of the Cobb Cooker, plus 2 bottles of champagne and 2 bottles of red wine.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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